CLINTON — The Rev. Donald Ernest Kirch-ner, 88, Clinton, transferred to life eternal at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday (May 17, 2011) at Dr. John Warner Hospital, Clinton.
His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Zion Lutheran Church, Chestnut, with the Rev. Joel Dietrich officiating. Burial will be at 9 a.m. Saturday in Laenna Cemetery, Chestnut. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, and at the church one hour prior to the service Saturday.
Memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church, Chestnut; Christ Lutheran Church, Clinton; or Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne Ind.
Rev. Kirchner was born on Aug. 7, 1922. in Webster County, Neb., a son of John and Clara Bangert Kirchner. He was made God’s child in his baptism on Aug. 27, 1922, and was confirmed in the Christian faith on May 17, 1936. He married Margaret Worm on Sept. 20, 1959.
Surviving are his wife; daughter, Mary Anne Kirchner, Bloomington; two sons, John (Cheri) Kirchner, Burnsville, Minn., and Philip (Dawn) Kirchner, Suamico, Wis.; grandchildren, Blake Kirchner, Burnsville; Maria and Johana Kirchner, Bloomington; and Abby and Olivia Kirchner, Suamico. He also leaves one brother, Kenneth (Margaret) Kirchner, Blue Hill, Neb.; sister-in-law, Marilyn Kirchner, Clarinda, Iowa; and brother-in-law, Karl Deines, Porter, Texas.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Walter, Wilfred and Robert; sisters, Ela-nora Stork, Lydia Rogness and Mildred Deines; and daughter-in-law, Kathryn.
Rev. Kirchner was raised in rural Nebraska and graduated from Lawrence High School. He served in World War II in the 63rd Combat Infantry in France and Germany. Following the war, he taught school at Zion Lutheran Church at Guide Rock, Neb. He graduated from Concordia Seminary in Springfield in 1954.
He served the parishes of Trinity Lutheran Church, Freistatt, Mo., and Grace Lutheran Church, Aurora, Mo. He also taught third and fourth grade at Trinity Lutheran School in Freistatt. He then served at Zion Lutheran Church in Chestnut and Christ Lutheran Church, Clinton. Following his retirement he served as assisting pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Bloomington.
In the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, he served as the circuit counselor of the Lincoln Circuit, on the Central Illinois District Board of Directors, and the Board of Regents at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
He enjoyed serving his Lord through his work and never tired of visiting God’s people.
Online condolences may be made at www.calvertmemorial. com.